|Gate to our campground of choice was closed|
|A view of Turnagain Arm from the Porcupine Campground|
I hadn't realized how far up that road climbed from the gate to the highest point, but it took me a full hour of uphill biking to reach that point (which, by the way, took me only 12 minutes to coast down on the return trip!). Whew! A downhill never felt so good, though I was soon stopped by avalanche areas--first branches covering the road from already-melted avalanches, then the one avalanche that needed to be clambered over.
The kids also climbed a 4200 foot peak off to one side of the valley, choosing one for it's lack of snow. They were rewarded with miles and miles of peaks in the distance, a treat they said was worth the climb.
|A summery day for a bike ride up the Palmer Creek Road|
|This avalanche is responsible for the road being closed. |
Apparently plowing it isn't an option??
|A couple of other areas with branches littering the road are |
telltale signs of avalanches that have melted already
|The Coeur d'alene Campground is petite with 6 tenting only sites, but it is free and remote!|
|The mountains past the campground were still snow-covered, and warm temperatures |
meant soft snow not conducive for exploring the mines and area
|A beautiful view of Turnagain Arm looking towards Anchorage was worth|
braking for on my 12 minute downhill coast back to the gate
The next day we decided to climb Hope Point, and despite predictions of possible rain, turned out to be another scorcher by Alaska standards (65-75 degrees). I regretted not wearing shorts, figuring it would be cooler up higher. I was more comfortable once I rolled up my tights to my knees. The 2000 foot climb went by relatively quickly with the new switchbacks that lengthened the trail to 3.5 miles, but made it a moderate climb rather than a straight-up grueling one. The main highlight was seeing 4 mountain sheep reclining on the rocks of a nearby peak as I reached the saddle for the final push to the top.
|The mountain sheep looked like patches of snow at first|
|View of a nearby peak the kids climbed, as seen from Hope Point|
|Juneau Falls off the Resurrection Trail, swollen with spring runoff|
It was an intense weekend of hiking and biking, and we returned home sore and happy having fulfilled the goal of summer in Alaska: adventures!!